WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - On Wednesday night, Gray Collegiate guard Chase McDuffie announced his commitment to North Carolina A&T.
The 6-foot-5 rising senior received several scholarship offers from teams including Arizona State, Winthrop, George Washington, and SC State among others.
“I’m truly blessed,” McDuffie said. “It’s been a wonderful journey and it’s been fun. I’ve met a lot of good people and they’ve wished me the best for my decision.”
McDuffie averaged 13.6 points and five rebounds last season. In the state final, he posted 22 points to help the War Eagles capture their third straight state title. Head coach Dion Bethea believes the Aggies are getting a special player once he graduates from GCA.
“Coaching Chase for the last three years has been a blessing,” Bethea said. “You’re talking about a 6-5 elite shooting guard that can pretty much get it done on both ends. He’s been a pleasure to coach. Very coachable kid. A&T, they’re getting one of the best players in the state in his class. Choosing to go to an HBCU, I thought that was really huge.”
McDuffie was able to narrow his choices down between Cleveland State and N.C. A&T. In the end, N.C. A&T felt like the best place for him.
“When we got on the Zoom call, me and my family, we did the virtual tour,” McDuffie explained. “When we did the virtual tour, it was just there. We just had that vibe together. My family felt it, felt it, the coaches felt it, and that’s when I knew that was the right place for me.”
Like it has for many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic changed things for McDuffie. That even included recruiting. Before, McDuffie was able to make in-person visits to see programs firsthand. Since the pandemic, McDuffie and his family had to take virtual visits to see programs and use Zoom calls to speak with coaches. What didn’t change for McDuffie was the advice he received about where he should take his talents once his days at Gray Collegiate are over.
“My grandma...was actually saying make sure this is the right place for you. Make sure this is where you want to finish out at, further your education, and make a positive difference in the world. I can do that at North Carolina A&T on the court and off the court. So, she played a big role in that.”
McDuffie enters his senior season among some rare company. He already has three consecutive state championship rings with Gray and is looking to end his career with one more. To do that, he’ll have to lead the War Eagles one more time as the War Eagles hope to defend their throne.
“He understands what’s on the line because he’s sent out a bunch of seniors the right way,” Bethea said. “That’s something that we always talk about. So, definitely this upcoming year, hopefully, there is a season, we get the opportunity to send him out the right way with four state championships.”